From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on January 4, 2012:
Bud Black would have enjoyed pitching in Petco Park. Alas, the lefty didn’t get the opportunity: his playing career ended a decade before the Padres’ home ballpark opened. But as San Diego’s skipper, Black does relish the opportunity to manage there. Still, that doesn’t mean his job is easy. The 54-year-old isn’t just nurturing a young pitching staff, he’s helping an equally inexperienced lineup navigate one of the game’s most-challenging hitting environments.
Black discussed Petco’s park factors, and several of his players — including the recently departed Heath Bell and Mat Latos — during last month’s Winter Meetings.
David Laurila: How much does Petco Park impact a pitching staff?
Bud Black: Besides the hard numbers, it really gives confidence to a pitcher, and not just our own pitchers. Like with a lot of parks in the game, there are certain pitches to be thrown that will make it extremely difficult to hit the ball out of the park. Percentage-wise, if the ball is hit to a certain part of the ballpark, the pitcher isn‘t going to get hurt as much.
In our place, that’s to right field and to right-center, as well as to left-center. To straightaway left field is very doable for a home run — but the majority of our park, as you move from the right field corner to left center — is big. Pitch selection is important in Petco.
Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-bud-black-pitching-at-petco/
Originally published: January 4, 2012. Last Updated: January 4, 2012.